Tommy Phelps On: Jonathan Hovis

phelpsttYou may remember my 2008 series with pitching coach Scott Aldred, in which we sat down and talked at length about each of the pitchers on the staff at the time.

Well, that series is back this year, but with a new pitching coach, of course.

Former big league pitcher Tommy Phelps joined the Thunder coaching staff this year after Aldred was promoted to Scranton, and we recently sat down and talked about every pitcher who was on the pitching staff as of a few days ago.

In the sixth of a 13-part series, recently called up (and since demoted) reliever Jonathan Hovis is the subject of my chat with Phelps.

Hovis led the South Atlantic League with 30 saves in 2007, and entered this season with a career 1.60 ERA in 101 appearances.

Here’s what Phelps had to say about Hovis:

hovistt“I haven’t seen him pitch very much.  Saw him pitch a little bit in spring training and here.  But he’s aggressive and he can command that arm side of the plate.  The ball has good sink, he’s a side-armer, low three-quarter guy.  He has a good, sharp little late slider.  He can mix in the changeup, too.  There’s another guy that knows how to pitch, change speeds.  He does a good job.”

I asked Phelps about how important it is to have a guy like Hovis on the staff, considering the value he provides in giving the opposing hitters a different look that they might not ordinarily see with his unique arm angle:

“Oh, I think that’s huge, especially out of the bullpen.  If they see just power lefty, power righty all the time, you get used to seeing that stuff every night.  But when you bring Schmitty in and Hovy, they get a different look.  Hitters don’t like to come in and have to face that sidearmer, because they don’t see them a whole lot.  That gives us an advantage.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

2 Responses to “Tommy Phelps On: Jonathan Hovis”

  1. Sean Serritella Says:

    Nice write up. Hovis did really well at Tampa last year and I hope to see him pitch well in Trenton.

  2. Craig Says:

    What does this kid have to do to move up?

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